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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Mittal Eyes Takeover of Steelmaker MMK

The world's biggest steelmaker, Arcelor Mittal, has offered to buy a controlling stake in steelmaker MMK, Vedomosti quoted a source close to the owners of MMK as saying Wednesday.

Arcelor Mittal representatives visited Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel, or MMK, a month ago and the firm had made an offer to its main owner, billionaire Viktor Rashnikov, Vedomosti reported. The paper did not say how much Arcelor Mittal had offered to pay.

The paper said a co-owner of MMK had confirmed the talks had taken place. But it said one source had said the talks had not advanced further. Vedomosti said MMK spokeswoman Yelena Azovtseva declined to comment. She was not immediately available Wednesday.

The companies already have a business relationship, with MMK buying coal from the Mittal Steel Temirtau subsidiary in Kazakhstan.

Mittal Steel, which this year merged with Arcelor, last year paid $4.8 billion for Ukraine's Kryvorizhstal steel mill in the largest privatization ever to place in that country.

Arcelor Mittal CEO Lakshmi Mittal said last month that the global steel industry needed further consolidation to improve pricing power and to keep an eye on China's increasing influence.

MMK has a market capitalization of about $9 billion, according to independent estimates. The firm produced 11.4 million tons of crude steel last year and posted a net profit of $947 million. Its free float stands at about 1 percent, with the rest held by Rashnikov and management.